CHICAGO

Man Gets Seven Years For Taking Out Hit With $200 And An Above-Ground Pool

03/02/2011 09:36 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

William Alexander and his girlfriend, Heidi Friedburg, were in a custody battle over Friedburg's son in 2009. Alexander had been charged with shaking his own infant daughter earlier that year, and as a result, authorities had taken custody of his child, and Friedburg's two daughters and son.

The father of that son, Billy Jones, sued Friedburg for custody of the child. So Alexander and Friedburg allegedly hatched a scheme: they would hire a contract killer to murder Jones.

After a long series of text messages, the Chicago Tribune reports, Alexander and Friedburg offered the assassin $200 and Friedburg's above-ground pool, which they dismantled and loaded into a truck. But the hit man they'd been in contact with was actually an undercover FBI agent, and the two were arrested in Lansing, Ill. in July of that year.

Friedburg was sentenced to 87 months in jail at her trial, according to the Associated Press. And despite the bizarre turn of Billy Jones testifying in his defense, Alexander received that same sentence on Monday.

UPI has more on Jones's change of heart:

Jones testified last week that he still fears hired killers will look for him and that he won't let the 3-year-old son he had with Friedburg visit her until he turns 18. But the boy has visited Alexander in jail several times.

"I do not fear William. I think he got caught up in something he didn't know how to get out of," Jones said. He urged a lenient sentence.

While his sentence was on par with that of his one-time fiancee, it was relatively lenient; the Tribune writes that 87 months is "at the low end of federal guidelines."

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